Executive Search Firms - Are They Worth it?

14/07/2017 < Return to blog

So you or your company are looking to recruit for an executive role.

Chances are, this role is very important, so you’ve got to make sure that you hire the perfect person for the role.

You may want to take this into your own hands, or perhaps you’ve considered hiring an executive search firm to help out. But the question is; are these firms worth your time and money?

Well, in short, the answer is yes.

Hiring an executive search firm can greatly increase applicant search effectiveness, and drastically reduce the time and effort required on your part.

If you or your business has a position that urgently needs filling, here’s a few reasons why executive search firms are worth considering.

While it’s true that some executive search firms can be costly, the potential time and effort saved is significant.

Essentially, a headhunter’s role is to go out and find the best possible candidates for the desired position. They then give you a shortlist of what they believe are the most suitable candidates for the job. At this point they can help you through the interviewing process and final decision stage.

This means that you can select from the finest candidates, whilst saving you massive amounts of time, as the firm handle the searching, interviewing, and arranging.

It makes sense that you’d want to hire the best to look for the best. Executive search firms specialise in seeking out the ideal candidate, even if that candidate isn’t actively looking for a new role.

If you’ve ever recruited for a position before, you’ve probably advertised on the usual job sites; Reed, Indeed, Total Jobs, etc. You may have also scoured LinkedIn, but unfortunately these options largely only get the attention of those who are actively seeking a new role.

For search agencies, this isn’t a problem. The top executive search firms have extensive networks of contacts and associates, and can take advantage of this to contact and pitch your advertised role to talented individuals who perhaps didn’t even know they wanted a new job.

In addition, executive search firms are experts at contacting, negotiating terms, conveying the benefits of the position, and thoroughly interviewing candidates. However there are so many options for executive search firms, how do you know which one is the right match for your business?

It goes without saying that different firms operate using different methods and criteria. Some specialise in specific areas and industries, whilst others work across various sectors (e.g. Executive Headhunters). This can be fantastic if you are open to finding individuals with extensive and varied skill sets.

Remember; being too narrow in your search isn’t always the best option. If you only search within your own sector, you may be missing out on the perfect candidate. At this point you may be asking; are there any downsides?

Well, this service doesn’t come free of course, though fees and payment structure varies from firm to firm.

Many headhunters work on a staggered fee basis, meaning you pay part upfront, and part only when they have found a candidate that you have agreed on. However, you may also encounter additional fees depending on the service.

In addition, when you hire a headhunting agency, you are effectively sacrificing time for quality.

A truly thorough talent search can take up to 6 weeks. This may seem like quite a long time if you were looking to hire someone immediately, but unfortunately searching through and getting in contact with potentially hundreds of candidates does take time. Patience is a virtue.

Executive search firms are a worthwhile investment if you and your business are searching for the perfect candidate for your role.

Just make sure that the agency you decide upon is the right match for your needs.

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